By Jason Theodorou

Google Image Search will be revamped with a host of new features, one of which will be the ability for advertisers to integrate images into the text adverts which already display above image search results.

Users will now be able to enlarge images when they hover the mouse over them, see more images on one page in a variety of sizes, and more easily click through to the source page for an image.

The new Image Search structure was detailed on Google’s Official Blog, where product manager Nate Smith said that the image Search would continue to ‘evolve to keep up’ with the changing online world, and the preferences of users.

The changes are expected to go live within the next few days, and they represent the biggest change to Google’s Image Search interface since the search function went live in 2001.

Google executives revealed at a press conference in San Francisco that the Image Search product, which has indexed over 10 billion online images, generates around 1 billion page views each day. The ability to add thumbnail images to adverts is expected to come at a premium for advertisers, allowing them much greater flexibility in marketing to Google’s users.

Users will be able to see up to 1,000 image thumbnails on one page, cutting down time spent searching through multiple pages of results and allowing the user to pinpoint relevant images.

Marissa Mayer, vice president of search at Google, told BBC News: ‘This represents the largest image search engine by far... I have been watching image search grow and grow for the last nine years since its launch. This is a tremendous rise, and shows how the web overall has gotten richer and richer with all kinds of media’.

Mayer denied that the Image Search updates had been derived from rival search engine Bing, which already offers many of the new features, saying that ‘our advances are based on studying users over the years’.


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